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Erdogan likens UN decorations to ‘LGBTQ colors’

The Turkish president said the design of the General Assembly halls reminded him of the pride flag

The UN General Assembly meeting hall in New York. ©  United Nations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was left unimpressed by the bright color pallet used in the design of the UN General Assembly’s meeting hall, suggesting that it looked too similar to the LGBTQ rainbow pride flag.

“One of the issues that bothers me the most … is that when entering the United Nations General Assembly, you see the LGBT colors on steps and other places,” Erdogan told journalists at the Turkish House in New York on Friday, as quoted by the newspaper Duvar.

“How many LGBT [people] are there in the world right now? However, much right they have on these steps, those against LGBT have as much right as well,” the Turkish leader said. He added that he would like to speak to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about the presence of the colors, noting that “this is a humanitarian issue and we need to know that there are people who are disturbed by this.”

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Erdogan was apparently referring to the 17 different colors symbolizing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are used as decorations on the walls and steps of the General Assembly hall. Erdogan, who was re-elected for a third term in May, frequently attacked the LGBTQ community during campaign speeches, while presenting himself as a staunch defender of traditional family values.

Same-sex relations are not illegal in Türkiye, though in recent years the authorities have been effectively cracking down on LGBTQ symbols and themes. Shutting down of LGBTQ organizations was a part of Erdogan’s election campaign platform.

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